The English Sounds Fun programme is made up of a combination of paper-based, multimedia and tactile activities.
The full kit can be bought as a package, and the elements can also be ordered separately.
The teacher’s book contains a full explanation of the system used, procedures to follow in the lessons and a rationale for the methodology, at each step.
Each lesson is set out clearly, so that the teacher can follow notes as s/he teaches the lesson, and can also see the student’s book material alongside the lesson plan.
The student’s book combines space to practice the new letters with a reminder of what has been taught in the lesson. This means that the student can look back over the lesson at home, with the help of a parent/carer and remind him/herself of what s/he has learnt. After each unit of core lessons (5 or 6 lessons) there is a chance for consolidating what has been learnt, and taking it a step further by applying the knowledge to previously unknown words.
There is then a chance for the student to show-off what s/he can do. This is an opportunity for the teacher to measure progress, but mainly a chance to enhance self-esteem and confidence, as the learner realises how far s/he has come. It is also great for parents/carers to see that the student is benefitting from the programme, not just in terms of developing literacy practices, but also in memory skills, general learning strategies and motivation.
The multimedia component of ESF includes all the videos and songs needed for the preliminary lessons and core lessons. This can be accessed via the website or the DVD, if no internet access is available. The videos and songs have been carefully designed to be engaging for students, but simple enough not to distract them from the core aim of learning how to match sounds to letters.
Students can sing along with the songs, if they like, but it is not required. However, they are sure to find themselves humming the tunes in between lessons, thus reinforcing the new information subconsciously. They won’t even realise that they are still learning, even when they are not in class.
Students love the hands-on elements of ESF, and the kit contains a pack of wikkistix, and three sets of magnetic alphabet letters in the colours that reflect the sounds of the letter names. There are 15 miniboards with a pen and rubber for practising writing and sentence structure, and nearly 150 flashcards to help them learn vocabulary and grammar structures. Throughout the programme, students are encouraged to work with these tactile materials, and make the most of their creative potential to support their learning.
There is also a ‘power E’ for demonstrating in a tangible way the use of a split digraph V-e, which can be used from lesson 16 onwards.